Friday, June 10, 2005

ENV: Not-Really-a-Cat-Friday

I've been meaning to get decent pictures of a Gulf Coast Toad, Bufo valliceps, for my Kerr Fauna website for some time, and just never seem to take advantage of the opportunities.

In the last few days (since the big rains of a week ago) a fairly large adult has been hopping by the office window on a regular basis. And last night i jumped at the opportunity to get a portrait.

Interesting to me that, even away from the coast (where they are abundant with a capital A), this is our most common toad in the genus Bufo -- well for that matter in any genus. We have several others here in the genus, including Bufo speciosa, Bufo woodhousei, Bufo debilis, and Bufo punctatus, but i'm lucky to find a handful of those in any given year. B. valliceps is another matter and i'd wager that i could find one almost any night of the year except in dead winter.

In the summer i see quite a few because the kids will bring them to me -- which i like, but then have to get them to wash their hands thoroughly. While i don't know the LD50 for the effects of Bufotoxin on a suburban kid, i've watched a dog or two writhe in severe discomfort after picking one up in their mouth. This is the source of the fad/urban legend about the hallucinogenic effects of toad-licking. I guess i'll have to research that someday to see if there's anything to it (online and book research is what i had in mind!).

Anyway, for Not-Really-a-Cat-Friday, here's the guy (or more likely gal) from outside my office.

And as always, be sure to check out The Friday Ark at The Modulator.

And also, this week, this cool diary at Daily Kos about, ahem, cats.


Gulf Coast Toad, Bufo valliceps

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